Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Of Music and Irrerapairable Holes in Your Souls.

They say you leave a little bit of yourself with everyone you have loved -- and lost. No wonder then that we eventually remain just a skeleton of who we once were: when you give away parts of your heart, soul, mind, and sometimes even body away skeletons are the only things that remain, isn't it?
Sometimes, while looking at the mirror, you wonder how would you have looked had you retained all parts of yourself. Probably more beautiful, more complete?

This thought -- of looking better with your chunks intact and retaining yourself -- then forces you to withdraw from people and relationships lest you give away whatever is remaining too. You feel super proud of the indifference that you have conditioned yourself to and believe that the skeleton is slowly and steadily filling up with new flesh and blood. And yet you somewhere long for someone to who you can handover whatever remains of you. To who you can truly belong.
However hard we try, the parts that we have given away do not ever come back. The craters that they create in your souls never fill up, the aches in your heart never heal. You merely learn to live with the incompleteness pretending all is well. But life has a way of reminding you of your losses every now and then.

In such times, when I am reminded of my losses, I am also reminded of a song. It is said that when Gulzar saa'b handed over the lyrics of this song to RD he threw a fit. "Next you'd get me newspaper cutting and tell me to make music for that!" He shouted. But RD being RD and Gulzar Saa'b being Gulzar saa'b, the song was made. And what a song it was.

I had first heard the song when I was no older than ten. I wanted to hear it more often but had no idea how to. Back in the day there was no youtube where you could type the words and get the song. By the time I heard it next, I was, I guess in my teens.

Can you guess which one is it?

Monday, April 17, 2017

My Books and I

My love affair with books began very late in life. In my 30s to be precise. Until then they had been passing acquaintances, the kinds you'd spend a few minutes with while waiting for the kids at the bus-stop, but never invite home. It is not as though I did not try to read. In college, after I got married, during holidays, and on many other occasions I tried very hard to strike a friendship with them. I picked up recommended titles and spend hours agonizing over them but all they helped me do was sleep (which was not a bad thing though). 

Turns out it was the classic case of kissing the wrong frog, or many of them.

It was only after I had completely given up on reading, and myself -- I had kissed too many wrong frogs, you see -- that I finally met my prince in a travel book. And then began the journey of discovering a world I had no idea existed. Day after day, week after week, month after month, my non-existent bookshelf filled up with authors and titles I hadn't heard of. Some of whom I loved, some who I adored, and some who went on to become close friends (all hail Facebook!). 

It is these books, and their writers, that also made me pick up my pen. They taught me that no matter how ordinary you might be, as long as you can put into words your deepest feelings -- fear, joy, love, agony, desire, longing -- you can be an extraordinary in your own way. They gave me a sense of purpose. This purpose, pardon me if I sound too cliched, changed the course of my life. From a listless, lost, and borderline depressed person, I became a bold and fearless writer who apart from feel-good stuff, also wrote about things good girls don't even talk about. 

Something else also happened in this time: the writer in me got so involved in writing and creating new stories that it overshadowed the reader in me. While I kept buying more and more books, I had no time to read them. In the last few weeks a lot of people have asked me why have I not been writing, I had no answer. How could I explain the loss of words, thoughts, and ideas? How could I disclose the long list of half-written articles, incomplete stories, and abandoned posts. I am a self-proclaimed writer after all? 

This morning after sending everyone off I sat down with myself to introspect. And it is then that I spotted the thick layer of dust on my books. I also noticed over half a dozen new books that have remain untouched for months. I immediately abandoned the idea of introspection and picked up a duster. As I dusted each book, smelt its pages, and arranged it back on the shelves of the rack, I could feel the words returning to my pen.